Los Angeles, July 9 (AP/UNB) — Jay-Z is heading into the legal marijuana industry as a chief brand strategist in partnership with a California cannabis product company.
The rapper said in a statement Tuesday that he entered a multiyear deal with San Jose, California-based Caliva. His role will consist of driving creative direction, outreach efforts and strategy for the brand.
Jay-Z says he also wants to increase the economic participation of people returning from incarceration through job training and workforce development.
The rapper called Caliva "the best partners for this endeavor."
Caliva operates a farm and two stores in Northern California. It also distributes its branded products in roughly two dozen other retail outlets in the state.
NFL legend Joe Montana's venture capital firm took part in a $75 million investment in Caliva earlier this year.
New York, July 9 (AP/UNB) — The last thing the world needs, Lady Gaga says, is another beauty brand. But that's too bad.
The pop star made all her Little Monsters happy Tuesday when she released a video with that message on social media. It heralds the coming of her new beauty line, Haus Laboratories, reportedly to be sold on Amazon come September.
Gaga dropped the news in an interview with the Business of Fashion, coinciding with the video that encourages all to embrace their own ideas about beauty. Business of Fashion says the three initial products are multiuse color for cheeks, eyes and lips in six shade families. A kit with all three will sell for $49. Pre-orders begin July 15.
Gaga says in the video: "Beauty is how you see yourself." She adds, "We want you to love yourself."
New Orleans, Jul 9 (AP/UNB) — Hundreds of family members, friends, fans and fellow musicians gathered in New Orleans Monday to bid farewell to rock 'n' roll pioneer Dave Bartholomew.
A trumpet-shaped flower arrangement stood next to the open casket at the music-filled service at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, The Times-Picayune/ The New Orleans Advocate reported . Musicians who came to pay their respects included Robin Barnes, Kermit Ruffins, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Charles Moore, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville and Dr. Brice Miller, the newspaper reported. Many played in his honor.
Bartholomew was 100 when he died June 23 in a suburban New Orleans hospital.
Along with Fats Domino, Bartholomew co-wrote and produced classics including "Ain't That a Shame," ''I'm Walkin'" and "Let the Four Winds Blow."
Bartholomew was a trumpet player since childhood and a bandleader and arranger before World War II. He befriended Domino in the late 1940s and they collaborated on dozens of hits that captured Domino's good-natured appeal, made him one of rock's earliest stars and made New Orleans a popular music center.
Al "Lil Fats" Jackson evoked Domino with a rendition of "Blue Monday" during the visitation, the newspaper reported, and Jon Cleary sang "Someday."
Despite the restrictions of segregation, Bartholomew rose to become a pop music icon, said the Rev. Tony Ricard, who led the funeral mass and joined in the spirited dancing on the church steps as the crowd followed the casket outside afterward.
New York, Jul 9 (AP/UNB) — During a live segment on a cable news network, from a sports bar in France where patrons were celebrating the United States women's World Cup Championship, a profane chant about President Donald Trump broke out.
The First Viewer was not pleased.
But the object of his ire was not CNN or MSNBC. It was his favorite outlet, Fox News Channel, and the president issued a not-so-veiled threat about the network's programming.
No president has been so closely aligned with a single news outlet as Trump is with Fox News, so his criticism carried added significance. While it was not the first time he has singled out Fox, it was the most pointed, raising the question of how the network, and the president's supporters, would respond.
Trump on Sunday night wrote that watching Fox on the weekend was worse than watching CNN and MSNBC, outlets he frequently attacks. He said Fox is "loading up with Democrats" and criticized the network for using The New York Times as a source for a story. He also attacked Fox for hiring former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile as a contributor and poked at afternoon host Shepard Smith's ratings.
"Fox News is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there," Trump wrote.
Fox did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
While it was not clear what Trump was specifically responding to, he was particularly annoyed by Fox correspondent Greg Palkot's live report from a sports bar in France, where patrons erupted in a "F--- Trump" chant, according to two advisers not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.
Fox also aired two segments about immigration Sunday that used as a hook a Times story that said workers at a child detention center in Texas are "grappling with the stuff of nightmares," according to Matthew Gertz of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America.
By some measures, Trump has never been closer to Fox News, or at least their evening hosts. He regularly calls into Sean Hannity's show, touts Laura Ingraham's program and, last month, frequently consulted Tucker Carlson, who strongly opposes military action against Iran, off-air. A few days later, Carlson was spotted among Trump's entourage during the president's visit to the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea. Carlson traveled with Trump for an interview that was shown on Fox.
But the president's frustration with the network has grown in recent months.
He has angrily told confidants he is confused about why Fox News sometimes "goes negative" in its coverage of his administration when it features an unflattering portrait of his White House, the advisers said.
Trump was particularly annoyed at Fox's coverage when he saw his ties to billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein being played up on the other networks.
Epstein was charged Monday with sexually abusing dozens of underage girls. His powerful friends over the years have included Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew.
Trump has gone on to complain that he feels that MSNBC and CNN rarely criticize Democrats and instead deliver pointed and, in his estimation, unfair attacks on the administration. To counter that, Trump has said, he feels it is important for Fox News to remain "loyal" to the White House and Republicans as a balance to the other networks' alleged bias, according to the advisers.
"I think he takes 'Fox & Friends' literally, that they're supposed to be friends," said Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. "Fox has real journalists who ask real questions, like Chris Wallace. If he thinks the 'no spin zone' is going to be the no criticism zone, he's right most of the time, but not all of the time."
Trump tweeted negatively about Fox this spring after it aired town halls featuring Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. "Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems," he tweeted May 19.
He said "what's with Fox News?" on April 16 after the Sanders session, accusing the network of turning away Trump fans who wanted to attend.
In March, he suggested Fox weekend anchors Arthel Neville and Leland Vittert should be working at CNN.
"I suspect Fox executives don't get too worked up over the president's tweets and offhanded comments," said Ken LaCorte, a longtime Fox News executive who now operates his own website. News reporters and anchors at Fox, who work in the shadow of opinion hosts, don't necessarily mind when a presidential tweet illustrates that not everyone at Fox is in the president's pocket.
Still, many of Fox's regular viewers also follow Trump on Twitter, and there's a risk when the president foments discontent. LaCorte said if the crticisms became more frequent, or if Trump cuts off the frequent access that many Fox personalities have for interviews, that would be a more worrisome sign.
Sesno, however, said the latest incident foreshadows potential trouble for Fox as the campaign heats up. Trump will obviously come under criticism; to what extent does Fox reflect that?
While there are other conservative websites and news networks, like One American News Network and NewsMax, none come close to the reach and influence that Fox has with this audience.
"What other channel are you going to if you want to see pro-Trump stuff on TV?" Sesno asked.
Geneva, July 8 (AP/UNB) — Just like her fellow Hong Kong protesters, pop star Denise Ho is standing up to China. Just like them, she seems to have gotten under Beijing's skin — this time at an international human rights venue.
The Cantopop singer used her star power to stand up to China's economic and political power at the U.N.'s top human rights body Monday, telling the Human Rights Council that human rights were under attack in Hong Kong and asking whether it would suspend China as a member of the 47-nation body for its abuses.
Ever sensitive to its growing international reputation, China shot back and interrupted Ho twice during her allotted 90-second slot. The chair, Iceland's ambassador in Geneva Harald Aspelund, gave some gentle reminders, but let her keep talking.
Ho's comments were some of the sharpest and most varied criticism of China that the council has heard since the United States pulled out last year, partly over Trump administration complaints that too many rights-violating states were among its members. The U.S. had been generally seen as one of the countries least hesitant to stand up to its rising rival at the Geneva-based council.
Ho ripped into the bill that would allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China for trial, saying such a move would "remove the firewall protecting Hong Kong from interference of the Chinese government" — an allusion to a British-China agreement linked to Hong Kong's handover to China in 1997.
Chinese diplomat Dai Demao quickly upbraided her, saying she had wrongly referred to Hong Kong "side-by-side" with China. He said that was an affront to the widely recognized "One China" policy.
Ho then denounced the disqualifications of lawmakers, the jailing of activists, and the "cross-border kidnappings" of booksellers in Hong Kong as signs of "China's tightening grip." She said Hong Kong autonomy had slowly eroded since the handover. She accused China of "preventing our democracy at all costs" such as by appointing as Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam, who the protesters want to see ousted.
Dai burst in again to reject "unfounded allegations" and appealed to the chair that she refrain from using "abusive language."
Unbowed, Ho raised the tone again, asking the council whether it would suspend China and convene an urgent session to protect people in Hong Kong amid rising protests.
UN Watch, the advocacy group that hosted Ho, faulted Western countries for not speaking out in her defense. China's envoy also blasted the non-governmental organization, saying it had "abused its consultative status" and engaged in slandering — without mentioning the group or Ho by name.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Ho said she hadn't received any threats for her outspokenness.
"I don't know if it will stay this way," she said. "I will stand strong."
In an interview with The Associated Press before the session, Ho said the implications of China's alleged rights abuses went far beyond Hong Kong, in places like Tibet and China's Xinjiang region, home to many Uighur Muslims.
"This is a very serious issue and a global issue, that not only touches Hong Kong people, but really the global world — where you see governments they are silencing themselves, because of being afraid of political reprisal, economic reprisal," she said.
Ho praised a "creative move" by protesters in Kowloon over the weekend who reached out to incoming tourists from mainland China, saying many people in China had been "brainwashed to think that Hong Kong people are just rioters and anti-China, which is not true."
Ho said her activism has come at a price: She hasn't had any commercial work for the last several years, and she can't travel to China. But she brushed off the personal impact, and said she'll stay committed to the cause — even though she can't predict how things will evolve.
"The police they are still using excessive force," she said. "As long as the Hong Kong government keeps on ignoring everything that's happening and just pretending that it's OK, these protests will go on — I'm quite sure of that."